Winter was for taking a step back and considering. Spring is for action.
My digital streamlining continues, but it continues at a reasonable pace and comfortable in the knowledge that it remains a work in progress. The older I get, the more I realise how much I enjoy showing my working. I used to obsess over everything being neat, being tidy, being fresh. Obsess is possibly too strong a word, but I liked the clean lines of a newly launched project or idea. Now, I find myself enjoying leaning into the joy – yes, the joy! – of going at my own pace and sharing progress as I see fit, whether or not that is A Complete Thing or not. More often than not, it is not, these days. And I find myself enjoying this even more than I did a beautiful shiny new start.
If you know what I’m talking about, you will understand. I have spent many exhausting years professing and knowing, and now I just want to think and, crucially, to collaborate. Sometimes with a clear creative or project purpose, many times without. Over the years I have realised how much I love learning, and in recent years I have come to realise how much I love learning from – and being inspired by – the people I talk to and those with whom I communicate. It was always there, I just never really articulated it this clearly.
On the first day of spring, several deer ran across our path in the woods. Well, one of our paths. We were at a crossroads at that point, when I heard the rustle of dashing deer. Scapa gave chase, but seemed to thoroughly enjoy remaining just a little behind, just to let them know she was there. I don’t think she was really interested in catching them (and I don’t think she could have done, in any case – deer are always much more nimble than you think, and the turf was more theirs than ours), but she seemed to want to show willing, for our benefit. She was proud of herself when she trotted back.
Auri saw them, too, and my heart just burst with delight at that. She was more interested than excited, in that way that toddlers who are genuinely excited about something often are – trying to understand, to reference, to adapt future thinking. She spoke seriously about them and Scapa, filing the experience away to be referenced at some point in the future. It was a moment I will never forget.
All of this is a slightly meandering way of introducing what I’m currently thinking about this spring: namely, notebooks. I cannot do everything I want to do. This isn’t sad, it is merely an accurate reflection. I have a phenomenal amount of ideas – not all good, very few fully formed, but overwhelming in volume. Notebooks allow me to jot down thoughts as they occur, and to review or continue to develop them later. Or perhaps to discard them.
And collaboration! I am all about collaboration. I will undoubtedly have much more to say on this at a later date, extolling the virtues, but for now suffice to say that this is a key priority for me over the coming weeks, months and years.
I am working on something big that will take up the next two to five years of my life, at least. Possibly more. I don’t want to share more at the moment, but in the meantime – while I work away furiously and mostly quietly in the background – I will be hosting a number of notebooks here on my website. On Mondays, I will share scribbles of ideas which have interested me in relation to research or expanding upon thoughts in general. I will also share a brief (no more than 250 word) #TheMisty Solitudes update of life in the woods for ShiverWriggle. On Fridays, I will share some commentary on recent education or management happenings. And at the end of each month, I will share an As She Flies update, now hosted on this very website. Please do join in the conversation if you feel so moved, either by commenting or by emailing me directly.
There are other creative priorities and projects, but I will leave it here for now.
Spring brings action. Who knows what summer will bring?
‘til next time,
31st March 2021
Croy, Highlands, Scotland